Position Paper / White Paper

LEGACY Oman UNGA 2016 - Topic 1


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Sultanate of Oman

McFarland High School

Medeline Medina and Blanka Hergyo

 General Assembly

Disarmament and International Security Committee

 

Countering the Spread of Global Terrorism

 

In recent years, the number of lives claimed or affected by terrorism have increased significantly. In 2014, 80% more people died as a result of terrorism than the year before. These acts of violence have been know to target specific groups of people which can deepen religious and/or political rifts between peoples which in turn could lead to future conflicts. In addition, terrorism can destabilize governments making it harder for them to restore order and this causes more problems as terrorism “profits from weak State capacity to maintain law and order”.1 Although terrorism is a threat the entire international community faces, most attacks have been concentrated in certain areas of the world. About “82 percent [of all terrorist attacks] were in one of five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Syria”.2 All these nations have low HDIs indicating that terrorism is indeed flourishing in underdeveloped nations. A new question the international community has faced is how to combat terrorist groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). But while attacks coordinated by international terrorist groups gain more media attention, individuals or small groups working without the aid of a larger organization are responsible for 70% of terrorism deaths in the West.3

Despite its location in the Middle East, Oman has scored a zero on the terrorism vulnerability index, which “reflects well on its safety and security against terrorist threats”.4 Oman has achieved this by promoting tolerance and “focusing on nation-building, away from the destruction and conflicts [in their region]”.5 “Oman is the only Arab nation that has not had any of its natives join the ranks of Daesh (Islamic State)”6 which is a notable achievement given the success of such groups in the region and signals the Omani people’s loyalty to their nation. This loyalty is earned by the Omani government’s strict, yet tolerant, actions. Under the Basic Law, “religious discrimination is prohibited” and individuals are free to practice their religion “as long as they do not disrupt the public order”.7 Whereas some political leaders in a number of Arab states are able to play off sectarian hatred to urge their countries’ youth to fight, such rhetoric has no appeal amongst Omanis due to their modern education system, which contains “no texts inciting extremism or hatred”.8

“The best way to fight extremism is to give everybody full access to education”.9 Oman Sultan Qaboos made education a high priority and has already taken steps to provide education to everyone by opening the doors wide for women receive an education. By providing an education system that utilizes texts that do not incite extremism and promotes tolerance, citizens of nations would not be learning on a curriculum based on hatred. Oman also calls upon the UN to assist in pushing underdeveloped nations into the 21st century and bringing nations out of poverty as “terrorism flourishes in environments of poverty”.10 Finally Oman encourages the promotion of tolerance within currently highly intolerant nations. Oman is an example of different religious practices coexisting peacefully.

 

1http://www.un.org/en/peacebuilding/pdf/historical/hlp_more_secure_world.pdf
2http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/11/the-geography-of-terrorism/382915/
3http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/4-surprising-facts-from-the-2015-global-terrorism-index/
4http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/oman/oman-scores-zero-for-terrorism-vulnerability-1.1627382
5See 4
6http://www.huffingtonpost.com/giorgio-cafiero/what-the-arab-world-can-learn-from-oman_b_8074584.html
See 6
8https://chronicle.fanack.com/oman/history-past-to-present/oman-immune-from-terrorism/
9See 8
10See 1